Self-contained foods
September 17, 2017 9:21 PM   Subscribe

I like empanadas, hand pies, tamales, burritos, and other food that's encased in something starchy. I shouldn't eat (much) wheat. What else should I try making?

It would be especially nice to find some things in this category that are quick to prepare - tamales are delicious, but take forever to assemble and cook.
posted by sibilatorix to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Cold spring rolls in rice paper are easy and tasty. Hot fried spring rolls are great too.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:24 PM on September 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

Corn on the cob! 15 minutes on the grill (or way less in the microwave), so incredibly delicious every time.

Gyoza, frozen, in every supermarket frozen foods aisle.

Mochi ice cream and Frank's fruit pies for sweets. Do bananas count?

Why shouldn't your eat *much* wheat?
posted by halogen at 9:25 PM on September 17, 2017

posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2017

Arepas! They're made of corn flour, so no wheat!
posted by mochapickle at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by bilabial at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2017

Onigiri/rice balls.
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 9:43 PM on September 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

I like to make quesadillas with corn tortillas. Mission also has a gluten-free flour tortilla that's pretty good.

posted by lunasol at 9:43 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lumpia and bapao!
posted by neushoorn at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2017

Pupusas! Corn-based dough formed around filling (e.g. beans and cheese, cheese, etc.) and fried flat. super quick. (on preview- d'oh)
posted by holyrood at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Pierogies may also make you happy!
posted by fyrebelley at 9:44 PM on September 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some empanadas are made with corn-based dough. And are super tasty.

posted by feckless at 9:46 PM on September 17, 2017

Pepperoni rolls? Wrap some pepperoni (or sausage of your choice) and some cheese in bread dough and bake. It's our local specialty!
posted by irisclara at 9:48 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I thought pupusas were rice flour? Might be a regional variation.

Spam Musubi
posted by rhizome at 10:02 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Today I found, on Imgur, this recipe for Korean Cheese Egg Bread, Gyeran-ppang. It has 1/2c AP flour for 3 servings, therefore less than 3 Tbsp per serving, which I would call not much, but I don't know if you would. It looks damn good. It's probably on the sweet side.

Ah, looks like the recipe is from the adorable Maangchi; first recipe of hers I've seen with out Gochujang, the ubiquitous red chili powder.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:17 PM on September 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you like the format of tamales, try zongzi.

For burrito-like things, try jianbing.

For empanada-shaped things, try hezi.

But I don't actually recommend preparing any of these, except maybe hezi, and those aren't super quick either (you'd never want to make one for a snack, e.g.), and zongzi is as laborious as tamales.

Instead, I have done the crazy and lazy thing of:
1. heating cheddar cheese in a skillet until it's oily and starting to crisp / get lacy
2. pouring on a beaten egg
3. slapping on a tortilla when the egg is mostly cooked
4. brushing the whole thing with sriracha or kimchi
5. rolling it up
6. calling it an jianbing adaptation / abomination.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:25 PM on September 17, 2017 [7 favorites]

Seconding onigiri, which aside from the time you spend waiting on the rice are really pretty easy. In a related vein, you can really put basically anything filling-wise into a sushi roll and it does not have to involve hard-to-obtain-safely raw fish, but onigiri are very similar and easier IMO to assemble.
posted by Sequence at 10:45 PM on September 17, 2017

Momos. If you're ever in Sydney we'll feed you some.
posted by taff at 11:58 PM on September 17, 2017

You can make Scotch eggs with non-wheat bread crumbs. I've been deviling the eggs and very popular.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:55 AM on September 18, 2017

Definitely gyoza. Can be cooked straight from frozen very easily.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:55 AM on September 18, 2017

Arepas are a good idea. Goya sells a suitable corn meal in a 1lb package. It's the kind with the arepas recipe on the back.

Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills sell products made with all sorts of grains. Some are meant as substitutes for wheat flour, some not. The AH multigrain pancake flour has a low wheat content and can make good biscuits.

On the chance that portioning is part of the appeal, you can try making up your favorite fillings in, say, custard cups. Also, with a custard cup or ramekin you can use a thinner crust to reduce wheat content.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2017

Nthing Goi Cuon from the first comment - easy and fast to make.

Wollamssam is the Korean version, or if you can live without starch just regular regular ssam
posted by smoke at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2017

Going on the "stuff wrapped in a thing" theme (not the starchy theme) - San choy bau?
posted by Cheese Monster at 4:56 AM on September 18, 2017

This book is exactly what you are looking for. It's very good.
posted by MeadowlarkMaude at 4:58 AM on September 18, 2017

Pasties, the regional treat of the Upper Peninsula and surrounding areas.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:19 AM on September 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Papusas -- I buy these.

Surprised no one has said calzones -- a perfectly encased version of pizza.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2017

Would dolmas qualify? They are self-contained, but in grape leaves, not something starchy.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:57 AM on September 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the answers!

I like self-contained food because it travels well, requires minimal packaging, and minimal materials, and is usually good for making ahead in batches (an important consideration right now since I don't have consistent access to a kitchen).

Minimal wheat because eating very much of it messes with my digestion. I know I could just make sandwiches with wheat-free bread, but I like using it as an opportunity to explore new ingredients and cuisines.
posted by sibilatorix at 9:55 PM on September 18, 2017

You might like Jamaican Patties. Here's a gluten-free one that might work for you If you eat meat I'm sure you you could sub another filling.
posted by Frenchy67 at 6:01 PM on September 23, 2017

Came here to say pasties (UP shout-out!) Some people recommend substituting potatoes or parsnips for rutabagas if you find the aftertaste annoying.
posted by tully_monster at 10:05 PM on September 25, 2017

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